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Illegal Inquiry

September 27, 1987

The recent decision of the San Diego federal prosecutor's office to attempt to reinstate the already clearly discredited charges of felony assault against UC San Diego student Kristen Crabtree is appalling.

However, this fact is overshadowed by the possibility (as suggested in your Sept. 18 article "Prosecutors Seek to Reinstate Charge in Biting of FBI Agent,") that the same prosecutor's office may have illegally or with great impropriety directed that an undergraduate student intern covertly search for, obtain and provide personal, defamatory information on Ms. Crabtree and others--information which that office is prohibited constitutionally and by law from obtaining on its own. Such "police state" activity clearly has no place in a democratic society, notwithstanding current administration thinking possibly to the contrary.

Of greatest concern for all of us, if such activity is confirmed, would be the prevalence in this country of the tragic views reflected in the student intern's report on his activities, which describes his "satisfaction . . . (that) in this way . . . (he) was playing an important role in the judicial process."

It would be chilling to hear such opinion in this country. Opinion that would reflect profound and dangerous ignorance or disregard of basic democratic principles and freedoms upon which this country is founded. Opinion that would clearly be shared by others, possibly including federal officials sworn to uphold the letter and spirit of the law. How tragic it would be in this Year of the Constitution.

PHIL MANN

Solana Beach

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